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Moore Returns As ‘A’ Sides Clash

Moore Returns As ‘A’ Sides Clash

Former Wallaby prop Rod Moore will return from injury tonight as Ulster ‘A’ take on Leinster ‘A’ in an eagerly-anticipated clash at Navan RFC.

Ulster prop Rod Moore

Former Wallaby prop Rod Moore will return from injury tonight as Ulster ‘A’ take on Leinster ‘A’ in an eagerly-anticipated clash at Navan RFC.

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‘A’ INTERPROVINCIAL: Friday, September 30

Leinster ‘A’ v Ulster ‘A’, Navan RFC, 7.00pm

The 33-year-old front rower has missed all three of Ulster’s opening Celtic League fixtures and will be itching to impress the management. Moore has been named on the replacements bench for an Ulster ‘A’ side which shows four changes from that which beat Catalonia 64-3, three weeks ago.

Much of the focus will fall on the shoulders of recently-arrived Kiwi scrum-half Isaac Boss, who only landed in Belfast on Wednesday.

Irish-qualified by right of grandmother hailing from Glenarm in County Antrim, the 25-year-old Boss, who joined the province from Waikato and the Super 12’s Wellington Hurricanes, said of his bow for the ‘A’ side: “I am looking forward to it – I was speaking to Mark (McCall) last week and I didn’t know what the prospects of playing this weekend were.

“If I wasn’t going to be involved anywhere I wouldn’t mind having a trial at club level – just to have a game – and then they talked to me about playing for the ‘A’ team and I am more than happy to do that.”

Boss’s half-back partnership tonight with last season’s Ireland Under-21 captain Gareth Steenson will be closely monitored. Boss is one of the four changes that ‘A’ coach Gerald McCarter has made – Jonny Bell, Henry Head and Stephen Ferris also come in for Glenn Telford, David Houston and Michael McComish.

The only non-contracted player included in the Ulster ‘A’ side is Ballymena lock Head.

Leinster, meanwhile, will boast their own ‘terrible twosome’ at half-back in UCD pair Eoghan Hickey and Brian O’Riordan. The home side, which will be captained by UCD second row Simon Crawford, also includes Emmett Byrne, John Lyne and Niall Ronan in an experienced pack.

Ulster A: Scott Young; Paul McKenzie, Shane Stewart, Jonny Bell, Andrew Maxwell; Gareth Steenson, Isaac Boss; Gary Maxwell, Nigel Brady, Declan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Caldwell, Henry Head, Chris Henry, Oisin Hennessey, Stephen Ferris.

Replacements: Stuart Philpott, Rod Moore, David Houston, David Pollock, Paul Marshall, Richard McCarter, Glen Telford.

Leinster A: Ross McCarron; James Norton, Gary Brown, David McAllister, Brendan Burke; Eoghan Hickey, Brian O’Riordan; John Lyne, Conor Geoghegan, Emmett Byrne, Simon Crawford, Devin Toner, Cameron Jowitt, Niall Ronan, Keith McLaughlin.

Replacements: Nick Duffy, Johnny Wickham, Gavin O’Meara, Stephen Bradshaw, Alex Dunlop, Cillian Willis, Greg Stafford, Stephen Grissing.

Referee: Alan Lewis (IRFU)